May is almost over, which means that wonderful three-day weekend that unofficially kicks off summer is right around the corner. Ever since the beginning of the month, I've been dreaming about what burgers to cook, which bathing suit to wear, and which new books to bring to the beach Memorial Day weekend 2017, because nothing says holiday weekend like warm sun, good eats, and great reads.
From cookouts to parades to picnics, there are a lot of different ways to celebrate Memorial Day, but for me the choice is obvious: beach bumming with a book in my hand for three days of uninterrupted reading bliss. Even though it's still weeks away from the start to summer, Memorial Day feels like the unofficial start of the beach season, and what better way to kick it off than with a marathon reading session in the sand that will take you all the way to Monday?
Whether you're into thrilling page turners, tear-jerking romances, guilty pleasure beach reads, or the latest unputdownable YA, there is a book out there just waiting to spend the holiday weekend with you. All you have to do is find the right one.
Ready to unplug, unwind, and unload for three days straight? With a little help warm weather, some sunscreen, and one of these 15 new books perfect for Memorial Day binge reading, your first beach weekend of the season is sure to be a hit.
1'Into the Water' by Paula Hawkins
This Memorial Day weekend, dive head-first into Into the Water, the latest thriller from The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins. A dark and twisty journey to a small town in England whose claim to fame is the Beckford Drowning Pool, a place where "troublesome women" are taken care of, Into the Water explores the lives, mysterious deaths, and complicated legacies of those who went below the surface. Only as always with Paula Hawkins, nothing and no one is quite who they appear to be. Buckle in, because this one is a truly chilling ride.
2'The Day I Died' by Lori Rader-Day
Deadly secrets, haunting pasts, and family tragedy come together in Lori Rader-Day's psychologically thrilling novel, The Day I Died. A violent and ominous story about a lost child and the handwriting analyst tasked with finding him and those responsible for taking him, the latest book from this Mary Higgins-Clark award-winning author will grab hold of you from the first chapter and won't let go until its startling conclusion. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen to the beach, because you're not going to want to move once you start reading this.
3'Ill Will' by Dan Chaon
If you haven't gotten around to reading the latest national bestseller from acclaimed crime writer Dan Chaon, Memorial Day is your chance to be blown away. A truly chilling novel rife with suspense and unease, Ill Will chronicles two violent crimes: the unsolved massacre of a family at the height of the 1980s Satanic cult hysteria and the mounting deaths of college boys at the hands of a potential serial killer. The one thing that connects them both? Dustin, a psychologist whose parents were victims all those years ago, and whose patient seems to have the key to solving the current crimes. A fascinating thriller about truth, lies, and the danger of memory, Ill Will will leave you with goosebumps, even under the warm May sun.
4'The Light We Lost' by Jill Santopolo
If you prefer love over murder, then Jill Santopolo's stunning debut is the perfect beach read for your Memorial Day weekend. A heartbreaking contemporary romance about two people who meet on 9/11 and whose lives are forever defined by that day, The Light We Lost is a tragic tale of love, loss, and life that will haunt you long after you've read the unshakable ending. Be sure to throw tissues, and maybe a few cute pictures of puppies, in your beach bag with this one, because The Light We Lost will leave you shaken to your core.
5'The Garden of Small Beginnings' by Abbi Waxman
Looking for something a little less devastating? Reach for Abbi Waxman's The Garden of Small Beginnings, an emotionally intense read that will give you just as many laughs as it does tears. A beautiful and affecting story about a heartbroken young mother learning how to let go of the past and live in the present, the only thing more masterful than Waxman's prose in this delightful novel is her brilliant characterization. Don't worry about meeting up with friends this Memorial Day, because the people you meet in The Garden of Small Beginnings will be more than enough company all weekend long.
6'Anything Is Possible' by Elizabeth Strout
Love, loss, and small-town dreams collide in Elizabeth Strout's latest literary masterpiece, Anything Is Possible, a rich novel that features the star of one of the author's most beloved novels, My Name Is Lucy Barton. In this latest fictional feat, readers return to the Midwest to find a collection unforgettable, each with their own intimate story of trauma, tragedy, heartbreak, and ultimately, hope. A stunning portrait of American life, and the often broken promise of the American dream, Anything Is Possible might leave you believing just that.
7'The Stars Are Fire' by Anita Shreve
Based on the heartbreaking true story of one of Maine's biggest and most devastating fires, Anita Shreve's The Stars Are Fire brings readers to the beach in stunning and surprising ways. Set in 1947, the fall of the fire that ravaged coastal Maine from Bar Harbor to Kittery, this sensational novel chronicles one woman's fight for her family's survival among the flames. Filled with the kind of action, emotion, suspense, and secrets that make Shreve's writing so unforgettable, The Stars Are Fire is the kind of book you won't be able to put down until you've read every last word.
8'The Arrangement' by Sarah Dunn
What happens when a sensible and stable couple decides to try an experiment and make their marriage open? In Sarah Dunn's The Arrangement, hilarious antics, emotional encounters, exhilarating romance, and more. An engaging story about love, commitment, and what it takes to make a marriage work, this runaway bestseller will keep you laughing, crying, and pondering the true meaning of happiness all weekend long.
9'Rich People Problems' by Kevin Kwan
Get ready for a weekend full of deep belly laughs with Kevin Kwan's latest novel about family and fortune, Rich People Problems. In this uproarious story, Kwan returns for another romp through the world of Asia's most privileged class, this time through the experiences of Shang-Young clan, an unforgettable group of greedy family members all fighting for their matriarch's massive fortune. A funny and biting novel about money, greed, secrets, and family, Rich People Problems will have you rolling in the sand with laughter before you're done.
10'Same Beach, Next Year' by Dorothea Benton Frank
If you're going to be hitting the beach this Memorial day, it's only fitting you bring with you a book to match the theme, and Dorothea Benton Frank's latest novel fits the bill. Same Beach, Next Year brings readers back to the breathtaking setting Lowcountry of South Carolina for another story of family, friendship, jealousy, trust, and complicated and unbreakable bonds of love. Brimming with everything a beach reach should have — a beautiful setting, intriguing relationships, and unforgettable characters — Same Beach, Next Year will keep your butt firmly planted in the sand reading all weekend long.
11'Confessions of a Domestic Failure' by Bunmi Laditan
Worried about getting a "beach body" this summer? Simple pick up a copy of Bunmi Laditan's hilarious fictional account of modern motherhood, and get ready to give your abs the workout of a lifetime, because each page will have you laughing hard enough to qualify as a core workout. Featuring mommy blogging drama, social media shaming, and an unflinching look at societal pressures facing all women, Confessions of a Domestic Failure is funny yet realistic look at what it's like to be a mom in the competitive world we live in today.
12'Music of the Ghosts' by Vaddey Ratner
Not all beach reads are light-hearted. Such is the case with Vaddey Ratner's wrenching novel about violence, displacement, and survival set against the backdrop of Cambodia's Khmer Rogue regime and its devastating aftermath. In Music of Ghosts, readers explore the depth of love and loss through the experience of Teera, a young woman who returns to Phnom Penh for the first time since her escape as a child, searching for answers about her father and her family's heartbreaking history in the country they once called home. A timely and haunting narrative about the lives facing so many refugees, this riveting novel couldn't have come at a better time.
13'Sympathy' by Olivia Sudjic
One of the most anticipated debuts of 2017, Olivia Sudjic's Sympathy is the kind of gripping novel you can lose yourself in all Memorial Day weekend long. In it, a young woman sets off down a destructive path of social-media fueled obsession and passion that leads her to a doomed relationship and even more questions than answers. An engrossing story about identity, secrets, and connection, Sympathy will leave you raw and ready for another three day break from the world, but it's so worth the read.
14'Alex and Eliza: A Love Story' by Melissa de la Cruz
Finally scratch that Hamilton itch with this sweet and breathtaking romance about young Alexander and his true love, Elizabeth Schuyler. A captivating tale of fate, choice, and love, Alex and Eliza is the kind of young adult novel that proves the genre is for readers of all ages.
15'Ramona Blue' by Julie Murphy
From the celebrated YA author of Dumplin' comes another remarkable story of an unforgettable young girl, the titular Ramona. Only five years old when Katrina changed her home forever, Ramona, a towering, blue-haired lesbian in Eulogy, Mississippi, is now a teenage girl struggling to stay true to herself while supporting her family and navigating the increasingly complicated feelings she has for her childhood friend, Freddie. An emotional and heartfelt coming-of-age story, Ramona Blue will make you wish you had books like this as a kid.